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ER Doctor Who Recovered From Covid-19 And Went Back To Treating Patients Dies By Suicide

Trigger warning:  The content in this article might include graphic references to self-harm and suicide that might be upsetting for some.

Get help: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States: 1-800-273-8255. Contact  International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide for crisis center information throughout the world.

There’s no denying that the current health crisis has presented an excess of stress for people worldwide. Unemployment rates are at supreme highs, death rates are at unprecedented extremes, and every day people are living in fear for the health and lives of their loved ones and themselves. No doubt, healthcare workers on the frontlines of combatting the virus have it particularly difficult. Not only are they being exposed to the virus at every turn, they are also seeing a mass increase in death amongst their patients.

No one truly knows why someone could be driven to taking their own life, but for a recently deceased New York City emergency room doctor, the stresses around Covid-19 could certainly have played a factor.

Dr. Lorna Breen, 49, had recovered from Covid-19 and continued to treat coronavirus patients before her death.

According to an interview with the late doctor’s father Philip Breen she was at the frontlines of the current pandemic and a hero.

“Lorna Breen died Sunday morning by suicide in Charlottesville, Virginia,” her father told CNN. “She went down in the trenches and was killed by the enemy on the front line. She loved New York and wouldn’t hear about living anywhere else. She loved her coworkers and did what she could for them.” 

“I just want people to know how special she was,” her father added.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, health care workers battling a mental health crisis as well.

According Lorna’s father, the doctor had told him that she and colleagues clocked 18-hour workdays. They slept in hallways and were extremely overloaded with work. The doctor contracted COVID-19 and took sick leave from work for a week and a half to recover. Eventually, she returned back to work but, according to her father, could not last through a 12-hour shift but was compelled to help anyway. At some point, a friend of Breen’s, who is also a doctor, visited her at her home and encouraged her to visit Virginia where she could be amongst her family and friends.

Soon after she’d arrived she was admitted to the University of Virginia Hospital for exhaustion.

After a week at the hospital, Lorna Breen left to stay with her mother. Last weekend, she went to visit and stay with her sister. During her visit, she died. According to CNN, “Officers responded Sunday to a call for medical assistance and identified the victim as Breen, the Charlottesville Police Department said in a news release.

She was brought to the University of Virginia Hospital once more, and “later succumbed to self-inflicted injuries.”

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As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Things That Matter

As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Starting today, everyone 16 and older can get in line for the Coronavirus vaccine. This is a huge milestone that has been months in the making after a very ambitious plan by the Biden administration.

But with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still on pause, many have been wondering what the vaccine program will look like – especially since nearly everyone is now eligible to receive a shot in the arm.

As of Monday, anyone 16 and over is technically eligible to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

On Monday, every state in the U.S. expanded its vaccine eligibility to include all adults over the age of 16, meeting President Biden’s deadline which he established two weeks ago.

The country is now administering 3.2 million doses a day on average, and half of all adults have now received at least one dose. Additionally, 84.3 million people have now been fully vaccinated against the disease. These are truly encouraging figures in the fight against the pandemic but a lot of uncertainty remains.

Ok but can I get a shot?

Technically, yes, anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the vaccine but your access to it really varies from state to state.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C., were the last to open up eligibility on Monday, after other states expanded access to the general public over the past month.

If the country’s present vaccination rate continues, 70% of the total U.S. population could be vaccinated by June 17 and 90% by July 25, the New York Times has projected. That timeline will likely depend on what happens with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, however, as distribution is now paused following reports of blood clots, despite being statistically extremely rare.

So, what’s going on with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

On Sunday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said that he believed the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will likely be lifted on Friday. During interviews on talk shows, Fauci stated that he expected federal health officials to decide on the vaccine’s future by the end of the week and that he did not anticipate the vaccine being permanently banned.

One alternative to banning is to limit who is able to receive the one dose shot, perhaps limiting it to males over the age of 50. This is how Europe adjusted its strategy following similar blood clotting issues with the Astra Zeneca vaccine, which was created using similar methods.

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Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Photo via Getty Images

While the United States is as of publication, has vaccinated over 75 million people against COVID-19 since mid-December, the rest of the world is still catching up. Poorer countries, for example, are struggling to procure enough vaccines for essential workers–let alone their entire population.

Luckily, certain charitable business are making it their mission to get vaccines to the most needy. For example, anti-poverty organization Global Citizen has organized a charity concert with the aim of getting COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

Selena Gomez will be hosting the concert, called “VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World”. And none other than Jennifer Lopez will be headlining.

Selena Gomez took to Twitter to announce her involvement in the exciting project. “I’m honored to be hosting ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,’ ” she wrote.

“This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Jennifer Lopez also took to Twitter to announce her involvement with VAX Live, saying that she is “calling for equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution for all”. That’s a statement we can get behind!

Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only superstar performing. Other acts will include J Balvin, H.E.R., and the Foo Fighters.

Global Citizen has one goal: to raise $22 billion for global vaccinations via corporate and philanthropic donors. They’re hoping VAX Live will bring awareness to their efforts.

“There are 27 million healthcare workers globally who don’t have access to the vaccine,” said Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans to the Associated Press. “I’m 38 years old, and it’s not ethical for me to have access to the vaccine before these heroic first responders and community health workers. So we need governments to start urgently donating those doses.”

Tom Hart, the executive director for another anti-poverty organization, The ONE Campaign, also reiterated the importance of getting vaccine doses into the hands of developing countries.

“Low-income countries not only need this welcome fundraising effort; they need access to COVID-19 vaccine doses,” Tom Hart said.

“The United States has secured over 550 million excess doses that could be used to help end the global pandemic faster.”

You can catch VAX LIVE on ABC, CBS, and iHeartMedia stations on 8:00 p.m. ET on May 8th. It will also be airing on Fox starting at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT the same day. You’ll also be able to catch an extended version on Global Citizen’s YouTube channel on May 8th as well.

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